As I mentioned in my last blog post I have recently moved into a new role in my school. As the new person in a brand new job as Middle School/High School Technology Integration Coach I am still trying to get a sense of what the job entails. I don’t have a class to teach so a traditional unit is a bit out of the question except that I may be able to help develop one through a coaching cycle. I guess that is a possibility but I am not sure it is a great option for this assignment. I am involved in a few tech related projects in the school at the moment. I am leading the MS Technology Task force. I have been tasked with making the MS ePortfolio more of a focus for students, teachers and parents as well as planning an ePortfolio that will be used for the first time with Grade 9 students in the High School.
The first option will be to make my work with the MS Tech Task Force my Final Project for course 5. My students (the MS faculty) will develop greater competency and confidence using and integrating technology in their classrooms and planning. They will have dedicated time to develop tech understandings and skills through workflows planned around the ISTE Standards for Students. In turn they will be addressing the ISTE Standards for Teachers. The ePortfolio project is designed to improve student learning and reflection by creating a place to showcase learning, to document the learning steps and also to document and reflect on the readiness to meet the learning objectives or standards of each unit.
Both projects reflect many of the aspects of what I have learned in COETAIL. COETAIL put technology integration thinking on the “front burner” as an educator. They both require time to be dedicated to using technology with the end result to be improved student learning.
My goals with the Tech Task Force as stated above is to improve teacher competency and confidence using and integrating technology in their classrooms and planning. The goals for the ePortfolio are to have a place for students to showcase and reflect on their learning so that it is easily accessible for all stakeholders. This is a three pronged process. The first is to educate students and teachers as to how the Google Site can be used. Secondly, the project must be revisited to make sure that it is meeting its intended purpose and adjustments made accordingly. Finally parents will have to be educated on how the site can be accessed and how they can make the most of the information that they find to determine how they can best support the learning of their child.
I think these are both good possibilities for my Course 5 final project. I believe that the scope of each of the projects is appropriate for this assignment. They are both significant projects that present ample technology integration opportunities.
I am not sure that there will be huge pedagogical shifts for these projects. My pedagogy has always had a focus on technology integration. The shift required may be in motivating my colleagues to invest the time and effort to make them useful in their classrooms. These new skills and attitudes will have to be fostered throughout this project. The greater burden on me will be to design something that is useful and worth any additional investment of the precious time of Faculty members. It also requires me to devise a plan that acknowledges a wide range in skills and attitudes related to technology. The plan will have to be heavily differentiated.